Rowe “not too long out” from a return; remains a possibility for this weekend

Kelyn Rowe training 2018

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Kelyn Rowe didn’t feel his left knee pop when he overreached for a ball in training 11 days ago. He didn’t hear it either. But his teammates did.

“It was like hitting the last stair, or forgetting that the last stair was there,” Rowe said. “I thought I was going to hit the ground, and I didn’t hit the ground for another two seconds, so it was one of those awkward moments.

“It was a very scary moment right away. Being the one who got the injury, I didn’t hear or feel anything pop, but guys around me were like, ‘Dude, it popped.’ That freaked me out a little bit.”

It was particularly frightening because Rowe suffered a similar injury to his right knee last season, jamming his straight leg into the temporary grass at Yankee Stadium. That kept him sidelined for nine games and the majority of the final two months of the season.

The good news is that this injury isn’t as severe, and while Rowe has already missed a pair of matches, he should be back on the field sooner rather than later.

“We got the MRI back and everything’s pretty minor,” Rowe said. “I basically did the same thing I did with my right, which is never comfortable, but luckily enough it’s more minor and not as severe.”

Rowe spent the entirety of Tuesday’s training session working with head athletic trainer Evan Allen, and was already able to sprint and cut sharply. That progress has head coach Brad Friedel confident that Rowe could make his return as soon as this weekend against Sporting Kansas City.

“He’s miles ahead of the injury he had last year at this point in time,” said Friedel. “It really will just be touch and go for this week, and if not this week, then hopefully the following weekend. But he’s not too long out.”

Rowe, as always, is anxious to get back on the field as quickly as possible, but he understands that the athletic training staff is being cautious with his recovery, particularly when factoring in his history with this type of injury.

“I’m not one to enjoy sitting out, and I want to be back as fast as possible,” Rowe said. “But they’ve kind of made sure that (they’re) finding ways (so) this doesn’t happen again.

“This happened twice in the matter of six or seven months, so we want to make sure that this doesn’t keep happening, because that could be something that hurts me in the long run for my career. So we’ve been taking it very slow and hoping that this won’t happen again.”